Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Did I buy this CD of Greek instrumentals while holidaying or working on the island of Kos or Crete?

I think it was Kos.

Y'know, just 'Kos…

There's no year printed anywhere to date the purchase by, neither on the sleeve, nor on the CD itself. There is a lot of other writing, but I'm afraid it's all Greek to me.

Well, here we go anyway…

1. Gia Sou Ellada

This is an optimistic strummy number on the bouzouki that sounds as though it's been composed especially for one of those BBC ¡Teaching Yourself Another European Language Is Fun! series. I listened to this for as long as I could before I was overtaken by an inexplicable compulsion to go out and ask a complete stranger for directions to the town hall.

2. To Hamogelo Tou Iliou

Upon my return, I found this one contained such a huge sense of urgency that I immediately went back out again to check the times of the local buses to the beach. July, apparently.

3. Iliolousti Ellada

Back in 2004, having recently attended three evenings of authentic Greek dancing in Crete, I happened to attend a Russian ball in London with my mum, where I discovered that 'traditional Russian dancing' looked like pretty well the same thing. I make this global observation because this track sounds distinctly Chinese. If I ever return to China and find this CD on sale in a souvenir shop, I'll be demanding back my drachmas.

4. To Fili Tou Fegariou

Loosely translates on at least two online translation websites as "To Fili Tou Fegariou". I got nothing.

5. Ilie Labere

Again, translates as "Ilie Labere". Those Greeks.

6. Saronikos

Translates as… guess.

This is also one of those clap-a-long tracks which increases in tempo throughout, resulting in my typing away at this keyboard at ever more frantic speeds. I remember, while working as a cinema usher in the eighties, a similarly accelerating track coming on between performances, and us all cleaning-up the theatre in record time. I wonder if there's an album of such motivational music available? I think I'd leave that in my CD player quite a lot. No I wouldn't, I'd get everything else finished and then clear it away.

7. Galazio Oniro

Ode to a famous football player. Who apparently now sells onions. I honestly typed that last sentence because of the accordion.

8. Stin Akrogialia

Sounds a bit like Thomas The Tank Engine And Friends in places. That's pan pipes for you.

9. Ihos Ke Fos

I've got it - this one's an anagram. "Kiss E Hoof" serves as a prequel to…

10. I Foni Tis Elladas

Loosely translates as "I'm Phoning This Elephant", and tells in ballet of the joy experienced by a lightly-footed elephant receiving a trunk call.

11. Retsina - Bouzouki & Tragoudi

Palindrome this time. This time Iduogart and Ikuozoub express their feelings for their long lost anister.

12. I Mykonos Ton Oniron

Translates as "I Mixed-Up A Ton Of Onions". Too happy to be much of a tear-jerker though. The repetition in this lively little number is making me start to feel as though I should be a) shopping, b) watching pages from Ceefax, or c) stopping the CD from skipping.

13. Ena Vradi Stin Taverna

Bad news. Online translation website apparently cannot translate the word "taverna". Time to find a new one.

14. Diakopes Stin Ellada

Translates as… (drum roll please)…

Diakopes κεντρί Ellada

This is so not helping. The jolliness of this track is laughing at me.

15. Could Be Called Anything

Μια αρκετά σοβαρή σύνθεση, ήχος λίγο γαλλικά, χάρι στο ακκορντέον.

16. Vathia Galazia


17. Stous Vrahous Tou Egaiou

Sounds Spanish.

18. Hasaposervikos Horos

It's the final track, and they are actually trying to wind me up now, aren't they? "Hasaposervikos" sounds like a medical condition. "I'm sorry, he died of an acute case of Hasaposervikos."

OKAY - I've cracked it! It's phonetic Greek. So that's why there are no obviously Greek characters anywhere. Complete track listing, courtesy of Google Translate, follows…

1. Gia Sou Ellada (For Your Greece)
2. To Hamogelo Tou Iliou (The Smile Of The Sun)
3. Iliolousti Ellada (Sunny Greece)
4. To Fili Tou Fegariou (The Girlfriend Fegariou)
5. Ilie Labere (Sun Lavere)
6. Saronikos (Saronic)
7. Galazio Oniro (Blue Oniro)
8. Stin Akrogialia (The Beach)
9. Ihos Ke Fos (Ke Light Sound)
10. I Foni Tis Elladas (The Voice Of Greece)
11. Retsina - Bouzouki & Tragoudi (Retsina - Vouzouki & Song)
12. I Mykonos Ton Oniron (In Mykonos Oniron) (Worst. Translation. Ever.)
13. Ena Vradi Stin Taverna (One Night In The Tavern)
14. Diakopes Stin Ellada (Holidays In Greece)
15. Enthimio Apo Tin Ellada (Enthimio From Greece)
16. Vathia Galazia (Deep Blue)
17. Stous Vrahous Tou Egaiou (The Cliffs Of Egaiou)
18. Hasaposervikos Horos (Chasaposervikos Dance)

Overall, I like this album!

Available here. (I think)


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